roof repair safety - fall prevention Both residential and commercial roof repair requires workers to perform their duties facing a myriad of risks, with the greatest being an injury or death from a fall. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) arm of the U.S. Department of Labor offers roof repair fall prevention tips.

Roofer Fall Prevention Tips

  1. Determine the roof’s structural integrity. If signs of dry rot, old weatherproofing, or other evidence of structural deterioration, a roofing company should take proper precautions to ensure the safety of their employees.
  2. Utilize scaffolds or aerial lifts. When the damaged area of the roof is along the outer edge, the roofer should be equipped with a aerial lift or scaffold. The equipment should be stable and in good repair so that the worker can safely reach the damaged outer edge section of the roof. Guard rails attached to scaffolds provide an extra layer of safety.
  3. Utilize a Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS). Designed to effectively halt an impending fall, a PFAS system should be employed by roofers, particularly when they are working higher up on a roof. The PFAS system should include a full-body harness worn by the roofer (as opposed to a body belt which can cause a severe injury during a fall) and be used in conjunction with a scaffold. This will also help to guard against a roofer falling through a roof opening or skylight.

These conventional fall protection strategies and equipment use can help to reduce or even eliminate the chances of a injurious or fatal fall.

Read more tips for reducing falls during roof repairs

Image: OSHA-acknowledged scaffold/fall protection in place and ready for roof installation. / WHALEN JACK / CC BY 2.0